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Coralluzo turns the NWA into the RBWA
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By Paul Herzog

I've got a friend that books and announces wrestling in a state where a lot of guys have their own indy promotions. I know whenever he works because I get a phone call the next day saying, "Hey, I worked for the RBWA last night." RBWA is a generic acronym meaning Really Bad Wrestling Alliance. No matter what the actual name of the promotion, there are three factors that instantly identify it as being a charter member of the RBWA.

First, the people involved have to think of and attempt to execute really complicated angles, based on events that happened at the previous show.

Two corollaries are involved:

1) The last show was three months ago, so that not even Jess McGrath can remember what happened. 2) The angle doesn't come off and nobody has the brains to improvise something that makes sense.

The second factor is that the guy putting on the show has to not only put himself in the main event, but win it.

Finally, the guy putting on the show is willing to throw money out the window to feed his dream of being a "pro-wrestling star", usually related to the previous item.

On October 24th, Dennis Coralluzzo's NWA officially became a promotion within the ranks of the RBWA.

I've never had a lot of respect for Coralluzzo's promotion, his choice of friends, nor his shameless self-hyping. But he was never someone I would laugh out loud at, nor being embarrassed to say I paid money to go to one of his shows. That's all changed now, because unlike the other RBWA guys, a bunch of people expecting a quality show got dragged down with him. The RBWA profile fits like a glove:

1) The planned finish had three face/heel turns with an incomprehensible set of steps. Drawing 300 people is an indicator that the first corollary was met. The second, where things break down and nobody can fix them, came off to perfection. Read the rundown in the Lariat or wherever you like. Then read it again, and a third time. Eventually, it might make sense. If it does, explain it Coralluzzo.

2) Dennis Coralluzzo was going to get his hand raised in the War Games match. I don't care that it was against Tod Gordon. I've seen lots of stupid finishes where non-wrestlers get their hand raised in a match where wrestlers are involved.

I hate it, because part of the wrestling business, whether the fans think they’re smart or not, has to be that the fans are paying money to see people doing things that they can't. When the winner is some middle-aged, overweight promoter, it bites. And the middle-aged, overweight promoter has the audacity to trace his title back to the days of Thesz, Hackenschmidt, and Gotch, it's worse. Could rank up there with the all-time goofiest

things I've ever heard, and I've been witness to some truly inspired fits of insanity.

3) The 10/24 NWA show had 52 people booked, with a bunch of them requiring air transportation (Abdullah the Butcher, Dan Severn, Steve Regal, 2 Cold Scorpio, Sandman, Doug Gilbert) and more needing hotel accommodations. Trans ain't cheap, but I'll ignore it, because it'll further prove my point. The most people I can remember a Coralluzzo show drawing was about 800, for the NWA title tournament and the first Eddie Gilbert Memorial.

Let's assume that Dennis had estimated he'd get that many people to pay on the 24th. At $15/head, that's $12,000. According to their numbers, Tod Gordon and Sandman got $1500 each, so 1/4 of that gross is already gone. So $9000 had to be split between 50 people. My guess is that another $5000 of that went between Severn, Regal, Scorpio, Abdullah, Gilbert, Missy Hyatt, Stevie Richards and Public Enemy.

That leaves $4000 for 41 wrestlers, in the best case scenario. In the actual scenario, he grossed about $4500. Either his boyish charms got a lot of guys to work for free, or I'm worried about Marc Coralluzzo's college fund.

Do understand men that are such suckers for the business that they keep throwing money into the pit in order to get their hand raised in a worked match? Not in a million years.

Until next time, watch out for flying chairs...

Paul Herzog has spent far too many hours as a columnist for various Internet sources, and the Wrestling Lariat newsletter, over the past six years. He is a systems engineer at Tellabs in Bolingbrook, Illinois, and is lucky to have a wife that likes the wrestling business, too. He can be reached at grapsfan@aol.com.

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1998 Wrestling Classics: Frank Dusek, Mark Nulty
1998 Design: Jan Herod
Created: October 1998